THE RIGHT FIT
EXPLORING BREAST AUGMENTATION OPTIONS
BY ANNETTE BROOKS
Some women choose breast augmentation surgery to address unwanted changes due to pregnancy or weight loss, including deflation, asymmetry, and droopiness.
For others, it’s about perfecting what Mother Nature gave them, improving size, shape, and contour. Whatever your goal, breast augmentation — which may be performed with or without a breast lift based on your needs and goals — can be an ideal solution for perfecting your body and boosting self-esteem.
Below are a few of today’s available options for good candidates. Keep in mind that four companies currently make FDA-cleared breast implants in the U.S. — Allergan, Ideal, Mentor, and Sientra, giving you a wide range of shapes, styles, and projections (how far the implant pushes out from the front to the back) to choose from. Some plastic surgeons use implants from one manufacturer exclusively, while others offer implants for two or more.
MORE CHOICES THAN EVER
A lot has changed since modern breast implants were first invented. Overall safety has improved remarkably, and new-generation materials have brought more choices to market, including different shapes and sizes. Your plastic surgeon should be happy to explore implant options with you, pointing out the potential pros and cons of each. Other considerations include implant placement, such as under or over the muscle.
Saline Implants – A silicone shell is inserted into a pocket created with the breast and then filled with a sterile saline (saltwater) solution. In the event of a rupture, the saline is harmlessly absorbed by the body, making saline implants considered by many to be the safest solution for breast augmentation.
Although saline implants tend to feel firmer than today’s new-generation silicone implants, advances such as “baffled” saline implants may come close to simulating the feel of silicone alternatives. According to PlasticSurgery. org, baffling is a channel structure within the implant that allows the saline inside to flow in different directions within the outer implant to simulate the feel of a silicone implant. It also may decrease the chances of rippling and sloshy liquid movement.
Silicone Gel Implants – These implants also have a silicone shell but are pre-filled with a silicone gel of varying degrees of cohesiveness. (Getting more technical, this means cross-linking of the silicone molecules). The immense popularity of current silicone gel implants is due to how closely they mimic the feel of natural breast tissue.
If you’ve explored silicone implants, chances are you’ve heard of gummy bear implants. They are filled with a highly cohesive silicone gel of a thicker consistency — similar to gummy bear candy — that sticks to itself and thus maintains its shape even if the shell is compromised. This type of implant aims to provide a more natural appearance and feel while minimizing the risk of implant leakage or rupture.
There’s no better time to explore breast augmentation, but choosing the right plastic surgeon is vital. Schedule consultations with experienced plastic surgeons to ask questions and review options, obtain professional recommendations based on your individual needs and body type, and understand what to expect after surgery and during recovery.
“Natural” Breast Augmentation
Natural is in vogue for just about everything, including breast augmentation via fat transfer to the breasts for enlarging and reshaping. According to PlasticSurgery.org, this option is usually best suited for women looking for a relatively small increase in breast size and prefer natural results.
Using liposuction to harvest fat from one or more areas of your body, the fat is then injected into the breasts. Not only does it allow you to avoid getting breast implants, but it’s also considered less invasive.
One thing to keep in mind with fat transfer is that the results may not be as consistent as breast implants. While tremendous strides with transferred fat survival have been made over the years, some fat may be reabsorbed. If this occurs, you could need to repeat fat injections one or more times to achieve optimal results.